Tu-Na Quilts: The Dogs Have Arrived

Tu-Na Quilts: The Dogs Have Arrived

All those cute little poodles that you sewed for me have safely arrived in Arizona. They were happy to be set free from their bag after traveling hundreds of miles by car. I am so relieved they didn’t need walking. 


tunaquilts 1a

There’s always one in every pack that wants to head their own way! 


You will notice that I received one from Wendy who blogs at Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life. She’s a follower of mine and asked if she could make me one, too. I believe Wendy’s is on the bottom right.

I’ve got them all labeled so I can identify them. Their names are so cute. They are all looking mighty spiffy!! And I think they all play so well together.

Thank you everyone for these delightful pooches! I’m thinking I will only need to make 6 more, probably all left facing and probably all with a dark background. I wasn’t able to have my other bee group make more of these poodles since it didn’t follow their 1.5 hour timeline. Although, I think only one of the blocks I sewed for that group finished within 1.5 hours. I will also be adding sashing and cornerstones.

But first I have to find Paige’s land fabric I brought with and then sew her up a couple of trees to add to her forest. It will be a beautiful quilt. And then I have to sew up a partial shelf of books for Emily. That will be sew exciting. I’m thinking I want to add something to that shelf too. Just not sure what it will be.

What I Learned Today:

  1. I need to find a space to have a design wall in this Arizona house.
  2. The day is still young so there’s still time to learn more.

Question: What’s a nice size for a generous lap quilt?

If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more about my journey or follow me, please visit my blog, Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats. Thank you for visiting Bee Inspired.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts



2018 Queen Schedule

2018 Queen assignments are here!  The fairest (and easiest) way I could think of was to get a list of “no” months from everyone.  Then I put all our names in one bowl and the months in another bowl. My assistant drew the names.

If the month was not on that person’s “no” list, match made.  Otherwise, both went back in the bowls.

So here is how 2018 looks:

January: Sharon

February: Ann

March: Jennifer Fulton & Paige

April: Emily

May: Velda

June: Jen Rosin

July: Sue

August: Karen

September: Irene & Janice

October: Kate

I think I avoided everyone’s “no” months.  I’m looking forward to another year with everyone!

December block–bookshelf

I am so excited to have arrived at my turn!  I’m not actually Queen until December, but with that being such a busy month, I figured some might want to get done early.  No pressure, I’m not in a hurry.

As a librarian and a quilter, the moment I first saw a bookshelf quilt I knew I had to make one someday.  This is the block I asked for from Stash Bee in 2016 and I have decided to make a bed-size quilt for my guest room/sewing room so I need more bookshelf blocks! I am so excited that I will see a quilt every day that has a piece of each of you in it!

first block I made


Second block I made.  With a theme this time!

I do not have a preferred method for this block.  Your books can lean, stand upright, be stacked, or any combination.  I am going to show you how I did my first two blocks, but feel free to use whatever method you like.  My first two blocks are similar to this tutorial from the Craftsy blog. I also tried the mini bookshelf tutorial from Don’t Call Me Betsy.  If “cut random book-sized strips” is intimidating to you, check out her tutorial.  She gives specific dimensions for her books. But keep in mind that her finished block is larger than our guidelines, so you’ll want to use fewer books and trim it to 13″ high. I also found that cutting each book to a specific size took waaaaay longer, which is why my tutorial just has you use varying widths of no set size.

Third block I made. I’m pleased with the leaning book.

Basic Details
Size: please make your blocks 13″ high and between 13″ and 16 1/2″ wide.
***Updated to add: this is the unfinished measurement and the size it will be when you mail it to me.  Thanks, Sue, for the question!***
Background fabric: solid white or off-white. (I used Kona Snow) 
Book fabrics: anything goes!  Great use for scraps!  I love novelty fabrics so if you have scraps of those, great, but honestly, everything will work in this.

Optional Embellishments & Variations
I would love one or more of the following embellishments or variations in your block, but these are completely optional, as I know I will love all bookshelf blocks.

  • Choose a theme for your bookshelf!  You see I did one with all monkey fabrics.  Anything goes here; the sky is the limit! A single color family could also be a theme.
  • Add an object to your bookshelf. Anything you might put on a shelf.
  • Add titles to one or more of your books.  The book titles in my examples are printed because I use printing on fabrics for my quilt labels and I’ve been using any extra space left on the sheet lately to print out titles of some of my favorite books.  Handwritten titles with Micron or similar fabric-safe pens are fine, too. I’ve also seen selvages used for this and that works too.

And Now For the Tutorial!
Again, method is totally up to you, but here is one way to do it. This is for the most basic row of books.

Get your book spines ready. These will be strips of varying widths and heights. Lay these out in the order you like. I found it useful to take a picture at this point to refer to later.

line them up and when you like how they look, take a picture

Cut a long strip of your background fabric.  I cut mine 8″ x WOF; if you have shorter books this may be cutting it to close, in which case do 10″ wide.  You won’t need the entire width of fabric.

Take your book spines and your background fabric to the sewing machine.  Place each spine face down against the background piece, and sew the  short end to the background piece.  Leave about 1/4″ in between spines, and chain piece.

chain piece each book spine to the background fabric

This is what it will look like when you have sewn them all to the background:

all sewn together!

Now line up your ruler and trim each book and the background sewn to it.


Press each book piece.


Sew your books together, lining up from the bottom of the books.  This is where having a picture from before you started sewing helps!  Your backgrounds will not line up at this point.

books sewn together, before trimming

Trim your block to 13″ high.

finished block

That’s it!  Let me know if you have any questions.  Thanks so much, and I can’t wait to see what you make!

Looking ahead to 2018

I have had such a great year with you ladies, and I am thrilled we all want to continue in 2018! Many thanks to Irene for leading us this year. I am honored to take a turn as Hive Mama next year and continue in her footsteps.

I’ve been talking to our fabulous Mastermind Kate, and we’ve set up the basic groundwork for 2018. We are going to double up on Queens in two months: March & September. This will leave November as a catch-up month.

If there are any months that you do NOT want to be queen due to whatever reason, let me (Emily) know–comment on this post, comment or PM on Facebook, or email will all work. I’m going to put all our names on slips of paper in one bowl and the months (with 2 Marches and 2 Septembers) on slips of paper in another bowl. I’ll draw a name and a month. If that name has the drawn month on their “no” list, both slips go back in the bowls. Otherwise, match made. And so on. So it will basically be a random draw with people getting to say no to certain months. I think it will be the fairest and simplest way to assign months.

I want to give our January queen as much notice as possible, so I’m hoping to announce the month assignments mid-November. (I’m aiming for November 15th, 2 weeks from today.) So if everyone could get me their “no” months in the next week, that would be great.

Enough about 2018, let’s finish 2017! I’m looking forward to Paige’s tree block and since December is such a crazy month, I’ll get my tutorial out early so we can wrap up this year!

Update on October Blocks!

Hi Ladies!

Just a quick note to show you what I’ve accumulated so far with both the blocks I have made myself and the ones I have received.  Velda, I just got yours in the mail.  Thank you!  I was hoping you would use your cute Gypsy Wife scraps on one of them and you did!

This will not be the final layout.  I am just throwing them up on the wall as they come in or as I make one.  If anyone is unsure about what I like and you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask!  I like hearing from you.  🙂  A couple of the blocks I made are pretty busy and I may not use them but I wanted to try and see how they would turn out.  Ya never know ’til you try!

Don’t forget, the block is only 8 inches so please make two.  Thanks so much!  I am loving what has come in so far!

design wall 5


The stars for Jen…

Jen requested a block in “tertiary” colors.  I am really not very good with colors, but since I own three (yes, three) color wheels, I thought this would not be too tough – that’s what I thought.

Jen bat um einen Block in “tertiären” Farben. Ich bin wirklich nicht sehr gut mit Farbewahl, aber da ich drei (ja, drei) Farbräder besitze, dachte ich, das wäre nicht zu schwer – ja, das dachte ich mir so….

And since she gave us the freedom to make the star in any size, I made these two for her:

Sie hat uns erlaubt, die Grösse der Blöcke selber zu bestimmen; ich habe dann diese zwei für sie genäht:


The larger one is 8″ and the smaller one is 5″.

Der grosse Stern ist 8″ und der kleinere ist 5″.

I hope she likes them! (and that the colors are right)

Ich hoffe sie gefallen ihr (und auch dass die Farben passen).